Legislative Updates & Community Concerns

Senator Maile Shimabukuro

Aloha! Please find my responses below to various concerns raised by community members:

What is the City doing with all the pipe work along Pokai Bay St. and Farrington Hwy?

The work along Farrington Highway is a City Sewer rehabilitation project entitled, Makaha Interceptor Sewer Rehabilitation/Replacement (DDC Wastewater Project No. W4-08) – TP2012-02-0147. The big black tubes are part of the sewer bypass system while the sewer line is being rehabilitated. The contractor has been expediting the project and hoped to complete this 1st phase around the end of April. Starting around May, the City plans to take down the bypass piping and moving it to phase 2 which is all on Pokai Bay Street . Phase 2 (on Pokai Bay Street) will require about 2 to 3 weeks to set up the bypass and about 3 to 4 weeks to clean and install the cast in place pipe liner (CIPP). The City is also replacing fencing that had collapsed along the Pokai Bay Ditch, and will be advertising for bids for a future project involving the replacement of the concrete ramp of the ditch.

What is being done about the tire dumping along Hakimo Road and surrounding areas?

The City’s Environmental Services Refuse Division at the Waianae Collection yard (co-located at the Waianae Wastewater Treatment Plant) picked up trash and tires along Paakea Road in March 2012. The City is aware that there still remains a lot of trash in the area, and they are trying their best to manage it. Further, I sponsored SB3006, which sets up a task force to propose solutions to the 2013 Legislature to the tire dumping problem.

Concerns regarding HB 2883, asking for a Makaha Flood Study

I continue to stand in full support of this measure, sponsored by Rep. Jo Jordan, and asking for $500,000. I realize there are concerns that the Makaha Bridge project may cause flooding. I believe this makes it even more critical to support HB2883, so that flooding problems in the Makaha region can be studied.

What is being done about flooding along Paakea Road and surrounding areas?

I am happy to report that the Senate draft of the budget (HB2012, SD1), contains one of my top priorities, which is $2m for flood mitigation along Paakea Road and surrounding areas. I have urged Conference Committee members to keep this critical item in the budget.

What is the status of WCCHC’s Emergency Room funding request?

I am also happy to report that HB2012 SD1 contains another one of my top priorities, which is $2m for WCCHC’s emergency room upgrades and expansion. Further, HB 304 appropriates $332,000 in operating funds for WCCHC’s emergency room. Again, I urged Budget Conference Committee members to support WCCHC’s emergency room.

Kea’au beach clean-up: Everyone is concerned because there is not enough space in the shelters to house all the homeless. Also, a lot of them will not want to go because of their pets, where will those people end up?

According to a City official I spoke to in mid-April, they had helped to transition all but approximately 150 individuals off of Kea`au beach. The City was hopeful to be able to find solutions for the remaining persons prior to the April 17 sweep. The City had been handing out flyers with referrals to various agencies for homeless assistance, such as WCCHC (697-3586), Waianae Community Outreach (696-5667), Access Line (832-3100), Humane Society (356-2250), and K9 Kokua (853-7268). In regards to the pet issue, I have followed up with K9 Kokua, who was considering a proposal to build a kennel and dog park at one of the homeless shelters in Kalaeloa. I encouraged K9 Kokua to apply for a “Grant-in-Aid” (GIA) in January 2013.

I was saddened to learn during a meeting at Kea`au that several people living there could not afford Hawaiian homestead lots they had been offered in the past. I introduced a measure, SB2639, this session which I hoped would help address this situation. SB2639 would have allowed DHHL awardees to live on vacant lots for up to 5 years in temporary structures while building their own homes. SB2639 would have also allowed awardees to build “off the grid” homes under DHHL’s “Kuleana Program,” as well as traditional Hawaiian hale and halau as authorized by HRS 46-1.55. SB2639 was deferred by the House Hawaiian Affairs Committee, who believed it was “premature.” I urge our community to push for this legislation in the future.

Concerns regarding Green Homes, such as use of canal water for dust control, insufficient dust net, use of driveways, and other questions regarding the status of the project.

According to the City Department of Planning and Permitting (DPP), permits are not required to draw seawater from drainage canals. Further, in January 2012, DPP stated that Green Homes was in the process of obtaining building permits, and that it received various exemptions as an affordable housing project under Sec 201-H, HRS. DPP provided the link to the City Council resolution granting exemptions to Green Homes, which was silent on the issue of dust control: http://docsiis01:8080/docushare/dsweb/Get/Document-179678/5bsrht0g.pdf

I referred area homeowners to Kathy Sokugawa of DPP to try to further address their concerns, at ksokugawa@honolulu.gov or 768-8001. I also referred homeowners to Small Claims Court (954-8575) to file individual damage claims for $5,000 or less.

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